Episode 04 Zoey Xinyi Gong: Traditional Chinese Medicine, Mushrooms and the Art of Language

Episode 04 Zoey Xinyi Gong: Traditional Chinese Medicine, Mushrooms and the Art of Language

Zoey Xinyi Gong

Zoey Gong is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) chef, food therapist, and healer. Zoey grew up in Shanghai and moved to the US with her family when she was 16. Today, she lives in Brooklyn, New York, and travels across the country cooking and hosting fabulous dinners, including 10-course mushroom feasts and mid-autumn full-moon tastings. As a chef and a nutritionist, Zoey is on a mission to showcase the healing foods of TCM, and she brings a fresh way of looking at health from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective.
In this episode, you’ll hear from Zoey Gong on:
  • (00:04:19) Her healing journey. Zoey explains how the health issues she experienced after moving to the US inspired her to learn about nutrition and reconnect with the foods and traditions she grew up with.
 
  • (00:07:28) Expanding her consciousness. She describes the emotional and spiritual growth that accompanied her physical recovery and left her feeling much more centered, open-minded, and connected to Nature.
 
  • (00:18:43) Her favorite mushrooms. Zoey reveals her fondness for Black Wood Ear and Silver Ear (Tremella) mushrooms, which can be consumed in fresh or dried form and are used to soothe the skin and heal yin deficiency in the body.
 
  • (00:25:02) TCM 101. Zoey refers to the principal TCM modalities of acupuncture, cupping, herbalism, gua sha, and food therapy. She also points out that TCM is based on the Chinese philosophical concept of yin and yang and its goal is to restore balance in the body.
 
  • (00:36:59) Food as medicine & food as love. Zoey reminds us that 70% of the energy in our bodies comes from the food we eat, and she shares her childhood memories of cooking with her grandmother in Shanghai.
 
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Show Transcript 

00:04

Hi, welcome to the Rainbo podcast. I'm your host, Tonya Papanikolov. Love, Rainbo and I are on a mission to upgrade humanity with fungi and expand the collective conscious. This podcast builds a virtual mycelial network of bold, open minded thinkers and seekers. I chat with experts, thought leaders, healers, scientists, entrepreneurs, spiritual teachers, activists, and dreamers. These are stories of healing, human potential and expansion, tune in route and expand and journey with us. Hi, friends, hope you're all doing wonderfully. I'm excited to introduce you to today's guest, who is Zoe Gong. Zoe is an incredible woman. She's a traditional Chinese medicine, a TCM chef and food therapist. She's a healer, a painter, an author, a registered dietitian, and a really just a wealth of information. Zoe is based in Brooklyn, New York, currently, and she was born in Shanghai, China. And she hosts hundreds of dinners and pop ups and events, featuring TCM food therapy all over the US and in China as well. And she's really focused on bringing the healing foods and Chinese cultural traditions to her guests. And she's done everything from creating 10 corpse, mushroom feasts to a mid-autumn Full Moon tasting in a garden. She does plant based seasonal chefs tables. And her approach to cuisine and food and wellness is really one of a kind and very creative, and super educational and really infused with who she is and where she comes from and her story. And she has a really interesting story about how and when she came to America and was really excited to try all these foods she'd never heard of. And ultimately what that led to was her getting really sick. And that really led to her life path and the journey that she's currently on around education of TCM and really bridging Eastern and Western philosophies and offering new ways of looking at health from a traditional Chinese medicine perspective, a new you know, it's a bit of a paradigm shift. So oftentimes, with so many healers, we have our own pains and struggles lead to the ultimate birthing of how we want to help others on the journey and share the tools that we've learned in the process. And just so beautiful that for her, it really came back to connecting to the foods and traditions that she had grown up with and that are a part of who she is. So the episodes really interesting. We dive into some of the tenants and basics of TCM, a big part of mushrooms and functional mushrooms come from ancient Chinese medicine and TCM specifically. So we talked about this and some of her favourite mushroom recipes. I asked her about what TCM says about plant medicines, because I actually, I don't know, I wasn't familiar until I had that, you know, chat with her. We talk about her relationship with fungi and mushrooms and some new projects that she has launching that are really exciting. And I think you're really gonna love this episode. It's really informative. And let's dive in

 

03:52

hi, Zoe. Hi, I'm so I'm so excited and grateful to be here with you and really looking forward to our chat.

 

04:01

Thank you. I'm so excited to chat with you as well. Awesome.

 

04:05

Well, I know a lot about what you do. I'm really inspired by the work that you do. You're a chef, traditional Chinese medicine nutritionist, but can you tell our listeners what you do and a little bit about your backstory?

 

04:19

Yeah, so I'm, I'm from Shanghai originally, and I'm a Chinese medicine chef, and food therapist. So and I live in New York now. I've been in the States for 10 years. And I started to do what I do because I got really sick when I first you know, came to the US. I was only 16. And I had I think a very drastic change in terms of what I ate. You know, I still remember the first meal I had.

 

04:51

What was it tell us? You know, oh my gosh, yes. Standard American. Yes, actually. A burger and fries eyes?

 

05:01

No, it's not. It's actually a it's a blueberry bagel I've never seen. Yeah, back then I was like, What is this, you know, the astral number. My first impression, I was like this look fake, it look like plastic that I wanted to try it with cream cheese, which also never, I didn't even know how to say that in Chinese. But then, you know, this kind of food, you know, very drastic change. Then after several months, I started to become that just a lot of problems start to show up in my body. And it's interesting that it showed up so quickly for you, right, because it's kind of like a blessing. Yeah, because I think I always have a pretty sensitive constitution. Even when I was in China, you know, I tend to have more like skin issues, digestive issues. So when I came here, I think it just, you know, happened really fast for me. Yeah. Basically, then I had to learn relearn, what is eating, what is healthy eating and figure out my body. That kind of led me to nutrition, and then to Chinese medicine. So right now, my approach is very combined Eastern and Western nutrition. And focused on food rather than supplements, vitamins, right?

 

06:19

That's beautiful. It's, I can I can relate as a 16 year old, going through also really sensitive body a little bit different. With respect to I was, I was born in Canada, but really sensitive system and my digestive conditions, and allergies, skin issues, guided me as a 17 year old into nutritional science, as well. So we both come from that, that background. And yeah, it's always really interesting for me to hear about, you know, people like yourself, where there's, there's such a clear, kind of like stepping stone and path that you've taken, that's really come from your own suffering discovery, you know, this, this expansion of consciousness that I'm really interested in, which really kind of coincides with a healing journey, is this growth, the self evolution? So how, how has that looked for you? You know, can you relate healing to the expansion of consciousness, in your own journey?

 

07:24

Yeah, for me, it helped me a lot, you know, the journey of healing, for me is really a journey of self awareness, and to figure out who I really am. And I think after I have that idea, I was able to share that with people. And also found people are more drawn to what I'm sharing, because I guess when you kind of understand yourself, people more, you know, just attract, attracted, you know, quote, unquote, two, two, or more willing to listen to you. And, and for me, you know, I'm really thankful for the journey of healing because feeling my body, because I really feel like my mind was expanded, for sure. Because I grew up in a very traditional Chinese households, I had very little freedom. When I was young, even when I was, you know, in high school, even the early years of college, I was still in that box of the very traditional kind of thinking. And at the same time, I had a lot of body issues. These I somehow, maybe these issues that even connected, and then once I started to change the way I train, my body changed the way I saw my body, I feel like I was able to be so much more creative. And with that, I was able to be, you know, a lot more free. I feel like I'm a very free individual right now, which I'm really had before. And then with that, I think healing comes easier. Because when you're open, everything is easier, you're more relaxed, you know, and I'm just naturally feel a lot more connected with the plants in my house, the nature, the environment. And I think when, as a healer, when I'm connected, people are easier to connect with me. And I'm, you know, I'm able to help them to connect with the nature because we're all connected that way. There's this collective consciousness that I think healers of the worlds are building, you know. So yeah, I really think it's really important pressures for me,

 

09:39

that's beautiful. It's such a beautiful way to put it and the nervous system repair, like getting into that shifting into that state where there is I think just the nervous system where that can start to heal, and where we start to develop a different relationship to stress and our perception of stress is very It's very key is coming into that place of more relaxation really just aids us in.

 

10:07

Because even now, I think we know so little about our brain. And we are not yet to associate it, at least in a clinical sense to physical wellness. And I think a lot most people are not thinking about it that way, either in we talked about mental health, but it seems like it's just mental health, right? It looked at the connection between mental health and this physical wellness, I think it needs to be explored more. And for me, I felt the difference. And also, you know, I'm really drawn to Buddhism after started practicing Chinese medicine, and everything just went together as I meet people who I really feel like I should meet, you know, like everything is seems to be on the right direction.

 

10:58

I love that synchronicity so much. It's kind of like, co creation with the universe and just starting to feel like ease. Yeah,

 

11:09

definitely. You know, in Taoism, or in Chinese medicine, we'll talk about the one where the concept of one, you know, when you are open to it, everything is in this one. And then you're centered. And that's great. Yeah.

 

11:25

Something that I really love about, about TCM and at least my knowledge of, you know, I guess more so relating to fungi and mushrooms, and the traditional Chinese medicine, the ways that, you know, there's vocabulary for these mushrooms that just doesn't exist in the Western world. That's always been something that I've, I've felt so drawn to, is just like, you know, Rishi being referred to as this mushroom of spiritual potency. And can you speak to like, what does that mean, in Chinese medicine, and I want us to get to this place in the Western world, where we are relating to nature in those kinds of ways. And you know, that there can be this merging of, yes, the sciences is coming in. It's, yeah, it there's so much of it, and especially around mushrooms, we're really, we're really seeing a lot of advancements, but there's this mass of indigenous knowledge, traditional Chinese medicine, and, and it's really about like this fusing of them. Yeah,

 

12:33

totally. You know, the thing about that's really charming about Chinese medicine, as you said, we have these very specific words. And I think, just the nature of Chinese language, one word means 1000 things. And it's very poetic the language. And then we and you know, nature has always been a huge part of our culture, in medicine, and the way that people function daily, even for now. So we often use these really beautiful poetic words to describe nature and also use things from nature to describe normal daily things. And going back to ratio, recoiling true. So there are many ways to interpret it. And it's such a beautiful name. I just simply love, love the name, Ling, it can mean spirit spiritual, it can also mean something that is so wonderful, that can cure everything. It's like very powerful, you know, kind of like magical, almost dazzling, and Jun is another beautiful word. And it kind of describes it's kind of hard to describe, it's like an object as very, I will say, beautiful, delicate, a little feminine nature to it. So these two words together really describes you know, Reishi as something that is very healing that is, as you said, you know, helps with both the body and spirit. And in Chinese medicine, the connection between body and mind is has always been established from the very beginning, you know, the five element database of Chinese philosophy, everything is cut talks about how the five emotions related to all of our 12 organs related to the season. So it's all very much interconnected. And where mushroom comes in, as you know, we can put different kinds of medicinal mushrooms into different elements and how they help to heal the body. And, you know, Reishi in particular, we've been using for a very, very long time. And it's so famous because there's a reason because it's so effective.

 

14:59

Yeah, Yeah, that was that was the great medicine that my body needed that kind of got me. Well, you know, I had been using mushrooms for a long time. But I started using reishi, therapeutically in 2016. And it was like night and day, like major transformation. So I'm like, Rishi is like, I feel so connected to

 

15:23

how did it transform you? I'm curious.

 

15:26

Well, I was I had a lot of digestive conditions, I'd come off of the birth control pill a few years earlier, actually, maybe like not a few, but like, one and a half to two. And I had all of this congestion along my chin and like in my bowels, and I was constantly bloated, and gassy, and just like very uncomfortable. And I was also going through a very emotionally stressful time with a breakup. And I was in school, I was in holistic nutrition school. So it's very just intense time. And one of my healers, we went on a specific liver protocol as one of our like, base foundational places for us to start. And we did some muscle testing. And we found that Rishi was kind of what my body was really gravitating towards. And we went up to about four grammes daily for eight weeks. And what happened was, from that point on, like, my digestion changed, my bloating started to go away, my face started to clear up. And but, but the, like, the piece that was really interesting was this, like, my mind changed. And my perception of what I was going through, started to change. And I felt a newfound vigor, in my mind, and my spirit and my body. And it just helped me navigate and like maneuver myself more gracefully out of a situation that wasn't serving me. And with that, it was like, you know, it was it was everything where it was like, there was the emotional peace, the spiritual, the very physical, real symptoms. And so, yeah, I think it was it was really incredible liver action. Totally. I

 

17:16

mean, that makes total sense. I guess, in Chinese medicine, the, the primary function of Reishi is for the mind to bring it's a calming in the calming category. And, you know, it does exactly what you said that it should do, you know, just help you mentally. And a lot of its, let's say, the Deaf genic digestive quality was kind of discovered in modern science, which is also amazing. This is when you see kind of science, you know, modern and ancient knowledge come together. So yeah, I mean, Reishi is made in the, in the stories in the mythical stories back then Reishi was also recorded to save lives of, of nations, like, bring people back to life before they're taking very large parts of it all at once. Yeah. But you know, there were stories, you know, written about so I have no doubt that's very powerful.

 

18:18

Yeah, that's, that's so cool to learn. Do you have a mushroom that you gravitate towards? I mean, I feel like I could just ask you so many questions, and go on and on. But yeah, I would love to know are Is there a particular mushroom I guess we kind of rotate through the seasons. So it'd be cool to know what season we're in right now. And mushrooms that might correspond to and then just personally for you,

 

18:41

do you have anything that you love using? I always love what a year the blog what year or silver year tremella These both come in bulk and they can come in both fresh and dried form. By usually us growing up I only use them dried and because I think I just right now I tend to have more in deficiency because I'm kind of really busy and I'm you know tend to be a more heated person and these two mushrooms really you know, helped me to nourish the yen for the body. And also you know, I always had a lot of skin issues and this tumour mushroom also helped me with my skin. And I love their texture. You know it can be either crunchy or really soft. And they can be used in food or purchase you know in granules in abstracts. So I find that really amazing and they just look so beautiful. My mom also grew them in the basement. So I think I just really love the woodier family,

 

19:54

I guess. Very cool. I haven't experimented with woodier in in A culinary sense but I'd really I really want to

 

20:02

their array especially if you use the black one in chicken stock push up and boom cook them for a very long time I love whether it's super soft

 

20:14

oh my gosh I also like I cannot imagine you with any skin issues because you are absolutely radiant and glowing to

 

20:22

you I used to have that covered with skin rash my face

 

20:26

so is there anything that you're doing specifically for skin health now?

 

20:32

Yeah, I mean there's no fungus water and the koi mela and quick see if I even you know when I'm travelling right now I can show you actually please I brought a blend with me actually has a mushroom in here and it has a lion's knee here. So this is a morally works for the stomach and spleen because when I travel I want to make sure my digestion you know is taking off and that also blacks for the skin you know is that like

 

21:04

is that A is the action like stomach acid that's what it's targeting in the stomach or no not

 

21:09

targeting more of this stomach and spleen Meridian in a TCM sense. Okay take care of it. But it does help with the stomach to strengthen the stomach lining the inside of the stomach. Many of these herbs so has the lion's mane has Chinese Yum, a fantastic one. Buddha, hen citrus and tyndrum Peel.

 

21:41

tea bag.

 

21:43

Yeah.

 

21:44

sativa Oh, is that you mentioned that What did you say Kochi seeds.

 

21:49

Quote, quite I would add voices in here but this one they don't have. Because obviously you have to boy for a long time. So not the best in tiebacks This is a fantastic land, especially in the summer, you know, you want to take off some dampness you want to come and keep your body light not like stagnant. So these are a lot of these serves also a romantic, too. So to help you feel a little bit like you know, like uplifting.

 

22:23

And where did you where to boot? Where would we find something like that?

 

22:26

Yeah, so just one I actually got and China is a famous Chinese pharmacy, Toronto, it has been there for maybe 200 years. And their storefronts in China look exactly how this vintage feel to it. And they're a huge company. So yeah, you had to get it. That's awesome. Okay, cool. Well, that's,

 

22:49

that's so helpful to know. Especially a great travel tip.

 

22:53

Yeah, totally. I was bring it with me, or tincture. I also have some tinctures

 

22:57

Nice. Okay, I have another question for you. That's gonna change topics a little bit. But I'm curious if TCM says anything specific about plant medicines, or psychedelics, if that is referred to in this lineage? And how

 

23:17

Yeah, I mean, plant medicine TCM, the majority of it are plants, so I guess it just kind of itself. And for psychedelics, I'm so sure there are a lot of mentioning about psychedelics, you know, marijuana and all these fun things, but because our government right now, you know, has a very, very tight censorship on these control drugs or these substances. So it's very hard to find historical literature about them, unfortunately. But back then, I'm sure they're used especially by tourists. And even by TCM practitioners.

 

24:01

I'm sure there's so many ancient civilizations and cultures that have leaned on these plants or fungi for very deep healing. So I would I would imagine that it's there somewhere in the history and maybe being hidden but

 

24:23

yeah, I mean, sometimes I do a little dig. I do find pieces of it. I've read about marijuana, I've read about the Tura flow flower, they will actually use together to as an anesthesia. Yeah. So there are pieces of them hiding.

 

24:39

Right? Yeah. You have to do a dig. Yeah. Can you tell us a bit about what are the tenants of of TCM? How would you describe it to somebody who isn't familiar? You know, and I love that like the holistic approach to the seasons and everything I would love to hear or more,

 

25:00

who knows. So TCM stands for traditional Chinese medicine. And it's basically you know, the medicine system that originated in ancient China and is still being used in China and all over the world. And it views there are a lot of Chinese medicine, TCM is a big umbrella. So under you might have heard of acupuncture, you've heard of cupping, guasha herbalism, the herbal decoctions and what I do through therapy, so, TCM is really the goal of TCM is to bring our body into a balance, balanced, you know, with our own body, right equilibrium and also a balance with the environment around us. And in order to do that views our body and our connection with nature as one nothing is separated. So, you will see an acupuncturist treat headache with a points on the feet, you will see you know, a food therapist give patients a diet or food that can treat something not digestive related. So, this is concepts. And of course, TCM is also based on the fundamental theories of Chinese culture and philosophy, such a yin and yang, such as the five elements where, you know, the we combine natural phenomenon with the imbalances in our body, and also with the our spiritual health. So everything together, and a lot of people think it's an ancient thing, it's like, doesn't have any proof. But nowadays, there is so many literature's you know, peer reviewed articles that we can read about that marries, you know, modern science with TCM. Yeah,

 

27:03

thank God. So effective.

 

27:07

Yeah, I know, I mean, it totally worked for me. And I mean, I came back, I came from more clinical Western clinical background, right, a registered dietician working in a hospital, and I knew that didn't work very well, for many patients. That's yeah, that's why I really fully believe in TCM, especially the combined effort between, you know, biomedicine and TCM.

 

27:37

Absolutely. Yeah, I mean, there's such a gap in treatment of the body. And this really, it's also what spurred my studies into education beyond Western nutrition and needing a system for my own body and my own self-regulation. And thank God finding yoga was my first introductory into actually understanding the capacity of my mind and the power of that and that I can actually start to you know, use it effectively and train it and have the system working in one and so I mean, it's so incredible your story of like, also just coming back to you know, it's like almost like you came to America and there was like this such a novelty in these crazy weird fake foods that we've crafted and like yeah, you have to try it and you're intrigued by it but ultimately your body led you back to

 

28:49

totally you're not actually

 

28:51

needed to be

 

28:52

actually write these trendy foods food trendy super foods actually guide me to study Chinese medicine because in the very beginning, I was college student I didn't care about my culture, drinkable Chinese medicine has seemed very outdated for a Chinese person like a young Chinese generation. So I but I was doing nutrition work I was helping companies kind of gathering information on their trendy superfood products and some so many products when I do research on them I'm like, this is Chinese medicine. You know, this is actually from China. I didn't know that all that's actually a thing that really sparked my interest. So yeah, I guess everything really just led me towards where what I'm doing now, which I'm really good. Yeah.

 

29:44

So really cool story. It's always interesting because in Western countries we refer to as most people refer to TCM or any alternative therapy as alternative. Yeah, right. When really it is the first medicines that came from and also like, used by more people in the world than Western medicine, right?

 

30:07

Ah, and is so much more affordable, so much more intuitive. And I think you know, modern medicine and just the modern way of learning of work off, the whole lifestyle really made us lose this intuition about our body, we don't know how to stop eating intuitively, it becomes really hard. Like, we lost kind of the awareness of our body, we all notice pain and discomfort when it's like, too late, you know, and you know, TCM is really for me, everybody can learn some TCM knowledge or even just body awareness, we could prevent so many things. I really believe that, you know, early, so.

 

30:54

believe that as well. So you used to work one on one with clients and patients? And can you tell us about what you're up to now what you're excited about projects you have coming down?

 

31:04

Yeah, totally, I actually stopped seeing individual patients for a little bit, I'm just seeing some, you know, old patients who are still with me, because right now I'm trying to work. I'm trying to teach more. And also creating experiences, I love that I want to help people to experience TCM firsthand and really to share the culture of kind of making it a little bit more relevant for modern human being over the walls. So right now I'm opening this space in Brooklyn, in Bushwick, it's going to be a creative event venue, where we'll have workshops have done, I hope to invite other healers of other disciplines to come together to teach, and then we'll have weekly Chef's Table, it's all gonna be based on healing or Chinese medicine or other healing principles could be you know, indigenous Mexican, or something like that. And then from there, I just finished a cookbook. So that will be congrats, wow, thank you, I just need to shoot the cover. But this done, and then it'll be out early next year. I'm really excited about it. There's a lot of information in the cookbook, other than recipes. So I'd love to share that with the world. And then also, my dream is to have like a documentary or Docu series on Chinese medicine, you know, how the, because it's actually very romantic, how it's practiced, from, you know, a lot of the herbs are specific to each region, and how the locally are still using it daily. And how you can see, you know, the modern trendy supplements coming from these Chinese traditions. I think it's very interesting. And then yeah, that's, that's what we're working on right now teaching. And, yeah,

 

33:14

the Docu series is going to happen, and it's going to happen, so I feel it, you're already putting it out. And I can just I can totally envision that. And that will be such a important piece of a proof point and a document for the world to see where so much of this traditional knowledge is coming from.

 

33:37

Yeah, and I just love to show how people in China, in social regions, they're using it with such ease, you know, it's not a complicated thing. It's not like, a 10 day cleanse, they have like, focused on, you know, if they're alive, they're just using and they know, it's good. They're very happy when they use it. And I think this is what he doing Healthy Eating Healthy Living should be all over the worlds.

 

34:03

Yeah. In in those, like, in what you're mentioning, is it you know, in some of like, let's say a smaller village in China is TCM Is this, like, just, you know, like learning math, like everybody has this knowledge? Or do they still have, you know, a central healer? Actually, I feel like it's maybe a bit of both, but, you know, like, where they're going to somebody for a specific ailment?

 

34:27

Yeah, so it's definitely both I think every Chinese knows at least a little bit about TCM, just somehow, you know, from grandparents from daily living because it's everywhere it's in, even in our language I ever Chinese know about liberals associated with anger, because that's in our language. But I would say in more rural areas, they tend to have more definitely a lot more traditional healing practices, and they have their doctors that they see in their village, while in a big city like Shanghai, where I grew up, this, this kind of tradition is fading a little bit, for sure. But still you will be able to find you know, these pharmacies everywhere. And people will you will see or hear your friends complain I have too much dampness I have too much heat, you hear these. But whether they go out and seek, you know, TCM doctor or they have a regular one. It's not like everybody has that. No, yeah. But I mean, there are a lot of clinics, a lot of people do Moxa can be even like a weekend, just like a gathering instead of a party and people will go together to get a massage, get a you know, the massage and things like that. I really miss it. Because it's so available, affordable and good. Back home.

 

35:52

Yeah. Yeah, I wish that was a bigger part of our culture here. That's so cool to learn that that it's beautiful. It's a beautiful thing to have that weaved into like, the fabric of one's language.

 

36:07

Yeah, oh my gosh, for sure. And even in our cuisine, you know, a lot of herbs, seasonal eating principles. People are doing it unconsciously. They don't even know they're doing TCM or anything like that. But you know, because it's so integrated into the culture. Awesome. Well,

 

36:25

I'm so excited about your projects launching when we can we expect to come to the creative studio space in Bushwick.

 

36:34

Yeah, so this by this year, that's for sure. So hopefully, September, October, we can do some soft openings.

 

36:44

Okay, I'm already seeing a Rainbo event. Oh, my gosh, we have to make it happen. We will make it happen. I'll be in touch. But it'll happen. And yeah, I guess a couple last things I wanted to touch on. I really love what you say about food is medicine. Food is memory. Food is love. And I was hoping you could share what that means to you.

 

37:09

Yeah, I guess you know, growing up, I my family is really centered around food I My earliest memory was around food. Maybe I was only three or four years old. I still remember I was peeling, you know, at a mommy show when my grandma. And I would wake up to my grandma chopping dumpling fillings with these huge Chinese cleavers and on a big wood chopping board. And I think food is interesting because it really tells people kind of how you grew up who you are, you'll open someone's fridge, you kind of know where that person, which is really amazing. And everybody have an intimate story about themselves around food, whether it's you know about health, whether it's about, you know, relationship, whether it's about whatever food is we are eating every day, and what gets more intimate that that, like you put stuff in your body. And that's something that's really, really interesting to me. And then the last part of is of course, health. I mean, food is such a big part of our wellness and in TCM 70% of the chi or Chi in the body comes from food. And so weather and food will have better chi if they are grown in a better environment. And that goes back to agriculture. The agriculture is also highly associated with politics policy. So see this is really a full cycle food connects everything together. And that really fascinates me. And nowadays people talk so much about food. And but we don't talk enough about our relationship with all the food that we eat, what food is good for just my body. I feel like that needs more attention. I think what everybody can start to realize that, you know, there's something magical could have been like how mushrooms who are all the plants that grow naturally in a environment could talk to each other through a complex neck network. So I feel like when human when all of us cut somehow you know having these natural things more and more I really think you know, there's something magical is going to happen like less anger in the air, things like that. Yeah,

 

39:39

there's a collective conscious that has yet to be tapped and explored by the masses, I think for sure. Yeah. That's beautiful. I really love that saying and that explanation. Thanks for sharing. My last question for you is, if you had you know, if you To put a prayer out or, you know, offer advice, what would you share? I will say,

 

40:05

you know, know that it's a, it's a quote from a famous Vietnamese monk is not exact quote, but it's how I remember, he, he wrote in his book, How to Eat, he basically advised us to know, to realize that we are supported all the time by the universe, you know, just the air that we're breathing, the food, our plate, you know, it's all the universe, your thing, so much energy, so much sunlight, so much water to produce for us. So we should take our time to appreciate it. And just, you know, feel grateful that we're supported. You might feel lonely, you might feel like nobody like you, you're going for like a shitty day, but you're still breathing the beautiful air that the plants are producing for you. And I think if you know that everything becomes a little bit better. Ya know that you're supported. Yes.

 

41:07

That's a beautiful reminder that I think we all need on a very frequent basis. Yeah, I love that. Thank you. Yeah. And okay, where else? Where can we find you? I know you're on Instagram and TikTok. But, yeah, could you share your handles and websites?

 

41:24

Yeah. So I'm on Tik Tok, and I'm mostly on Instagram. It's Zoey see me Gong X i and Y is my real name. Actually. though. It's just the name that I picked. So the 400 ZOEYXINY I do ng

 

41:43

you pronounce that again?

 

41:45

Can you see? shingling? Yeah, seeing it mean for?

 

41:51

Yeah, I love it. No, it's gorgeous.

 

41:55

That's the name. Yeah. So I'm mostly there. And then I'm opening the red pavilion in Brooklyn. So once that up, you know, we'll be on Instagram. We have a website, where you can book other workshops, either online or in person or come to our dinners.

 

42:12

So stay tuned, we'll be there. Amazing. And it's called Red pavilion.

 

42:15

The red pavilion. Yeah. Brooklyn. Yeah.

 

42:18

Okay, awesome. Thank you so much. I love love chatting with you and connecting with you and hearing your story. So thank you for the work you do and for having this conversation. And all of the education and love that you're you're putting out and healing message.

 

42:35

Thank you for such a pleasure.

 

42:40

With deep gratitude, thanks for tuning into this episode. If you liked it, hit subscribe and leave us a review that is always very appreciate it. Mushrooms transformed my mind and body. And if you're interested in bringing medicinal mushrooms into your life and health journey, check out rainbo.com for our meticulously sourced Canadian fruiting body mushroom tinctures. Until next time, peace in and peace out friends.